Thursday 24th December
Every so often we get the urge to go to Nando’s; usually when we are driving around the various shops at Beckton and can just see it out of the corner of our eyes, or know that it is just a couple of roundabouts away. And we are never disappointed.
For a while I used to do the books for Fine Burger Company, a fledgling start-up in the crowded fast food market. It wasn’t a bad concept; a decent burger in a Restaurant setting – but in the end people didn’t like paying premium prices for a burger, no matter how delicious it was. But we were always looking over our shoulders at the competition, and the one that was streets ahead of the others was Nando’s. I first discovered them back in the eighties when they only had a handful of branches, and it was basically just chicken and chips; but they have now perfected the product, and I must say it is pretty unbeatable. They rapidly spread and are still growing – it seems there may well be room for a Nando’s on every high street.
One innovation that as Restauranteurs we particularly liked was that you queued up and paid for your meal in advance. This meant a far faster turnover, no lingering waiting for the bill, and no need for expensive waiting staff, just someone to bring the food to your table (also, incidentally, far less complaints and quibbling about the bill when it arrived). But of course the best thing about Nando’s is the spicy sauce they both grill the chicken in, and have as a condiment available in all degrees of hotness. And for around fifteen pounds a head you get a decent meal and a drink, served pretty quickly in nice surroundings. You leave with your mouth still tingling from the hot sauce and despite a full stomach the feeling that you could happily eat the while darned thing again. Superb.